Sales and Marketing
With new technologies and marketing channels popping up every other day, the role of a digital marketer is constantly getting tougher. Research from Hubspot suggests that more and more people are utilising digital marketing tools, with the average marketer using 12 tools but some using as many as 31 different tools to support their marketing efforts.
But with such a diluted market it can be hard to differentiate between each product; for any one tool there’s usually 2 or 3 alternatives that do the same thing. Selecting the right tools to bolster your marketing campaigns can often be the difference between success and failure.
Below, we take a look at the top 25 digital marketing tools for 2019.
Google Analytics is one of the most essential tools for any business with a website, used by over 50 million websites around the world. This free analytics dashboard offers an in-depth look at various aspects of your website; everything from e-commerce conversion rates and total revenue to your audience’s demographics and their behaviour on-site.
Google Search Console
Originally known as Webmaster Tools, Google’s Search Console is another crucial tool for businesses with a website. In summary, it’s a free dashboard that helps you to monitor, maintain and troubleshoot the visibility of your site within Google’s organic search results. Search Console also happens to contain many features that play an important role in the performance of your site from a technical SEO perspective; including the ability to ‘fetch and render’ your website and submit your Sitemap and Robots.txt files, which can all increase the chances of your site being indexed in Google. It also allows you to pinpoint any external sites that link to your website and view some of the search terms that your site has shown up for, amongst many other useful features.
Traditionally, tracking the number of calls that your business receives as a result of a specific marketing campaign could prove fairly difficult. Particularly if you were running several campaigns across a range of channels. Ruler Analytics’ advanced call tracking software changed this, giving marketers the ability to generate dynamic numbers for their campaigns. It works best for brands and organisations that often receive new leads and enquiries over the phone, allowing you to tie your conversions back to a specific marketing effort. You can monitor results in a simple dashboard, as well as being able to record calls for customer services purposes. Why not check out Chris’ full review?
MailChimp originally rose to fame as an email marketing platform, offering marketers a free tool to build, send and analyse mass email campaigns. It became highly popular due to its easy-to-use block editor, offering a far more simple building process than many of its competitors. Since then, MailChimp has introduced several new features including the ability to design and send direct mail campaigns, build unique landing pages and create social media advertising campaigns.
This cool social media scheduling tool was built specifically for agencies and brands that require content to be signed off before being pushed live. Whereas some marketers tend to follow a process of writing social content, sending it off to the client for approval and then scheduling it manually via a tool like Buffer, ContentCal really does simplify the process. It allows you to produce content in an easy-to-navigate calendar, adding in any images and proposing a time for it to go live. From here, your client or manager simply needs to click on a green tick to approve each post and it will automatically go live at the agreed time. If they’re unhappy with the content they can either edit it themselves or reject an individual post, along with a note to help you understand why it was rejected. It really does save a load of time when writing and scheduling social media content.
Google Optimize is a tool that operates as part of the Google Analytics suite. It’s simply an A/B testing and personalisation platform that allows brands to test and optimise various aspects of a website or landing page. Traditionally, brands would need to get their development team to test the site manually or invest in a premium tool like Optimizely. But this free tool really does simplify and speed up the process of testing your website.
Moz Link Explorer
Previously known as ‘Open Site Explorer’, Moz’ Link Explorer is often described as an ‘all-in-one link building tool’. It allows you to analyse the link profile of any URL, highlighting useful data such as the site’s domain authority, the number of external domains that link to the site and the number of keywords that the site ranks for. It also allows you to export a list of all domains linking to that site, as well as other useful data such as the site’s top-performing pages. As you can imagine, this can come in handy when working on your brand’s SEO strategy or carrying out competitor analysis.
InVision is a really useful prototyping tool that allows you to build clickable versions of an app or website design. It’s a great time-saver in the early stages of the build process, helping to give your clients or shareholders a better idea of what the final site will look like. Due to its ability to make your website mock-ups clickable, it’s also a great tool to help your team better understand the user journey of your proposed app or website design.
Part of the Atlassian suite, home to other tools such as Jira and Trello, Bitbucket is an online Git code management system. It allows web developers to collaborate on code in one central place before testing and deploying it – very similar features to its main rival, GitHub. It’s really useful for confirming that all the source code for your project is in sync, which can sometimes prove difficult when working in larger teams.
As a digital marketer, it’s fairly likely that you’ll need to source royalty-free images for content purposes on a fairly regular basis. Here at Flaunt, we use Unsplash to find stunning images for our blogs, social media, videos, email campaigns and pretty much anything else you can think of! It’s free, easy to use and it has a far better range of high-quality images than many of its competitors.
With a very similar offering to Moz’ Link Explorer, Ahrefs is an advanced link research and SEO platform. It offers various different sub-tools including its ‘Site Explorer’, ‘Content Explorer’, ‘Rank Tracker’ and ‘Keywords Explorer’. Within each of these tools is an endless list of great features that can be used to enhance all sorts of SEO strategies. The guys at Ahrefs even introduced a new tool called ‘Site Audit’, which runs a full SEO audit on any website, testing for over 100 common SEO issues. Whilst this tool isn’t cheap, they do offer a 7-day trial for $7 which can give you some insights into just how powerful this tool is.
Buffer has been one of the go-to social media scheduling platforms for years now. With very similar features to Hootsuite, this tool allows you to schedule social media posts ahead of time. It further strengthened its offering with the introduction of its Chrome Extension tool a few years back. This allows you to fill up your content schedule way faster than usual; using it in collaboration with Twitter Lists or simply sharing blogs that you find interesting with the click of a button.
With online security becoming more and more of a concern for businesses and consumers alike, it’s likely that you’ll have a range of complex passwords to keep track of. Whilst a lot of us store these passwords via more traditional methods such as an Excel spreadsheet or a good old notepad, these non-secure techniques are becoming increasingly risky. Dashlane is the solution to this – an easy-to-use password manager and digital wallet that uses advanced encryption and local storage to keep your data secure. Whenever you login to a new website, it will identify the login fields and prompt you to save the credentials. From here, Dashlane will safely store selected passwords, payment methods, receipts and notes to use again in the future. It even has an auto-login feature to save you time in the future.
Much like a simplified, online version of photoshop, Canva seems to be the go-to design tool for anyone looking to create quick, high-quality designs. It offers a load of templates to choose from including posters, social posts, email headers and more, as well as an endless selection of free assets. The drag-and-drop feature makes it really easy to use, even for new designers. The latest version of Canva, known as ‘Canva 2.0’, also offers the ability to turn your designs into animations, which can be great for display advertising campaigns.
Here at Flaunt Digital, ActiveCollab is our go-to project management tool. It allows us to sort our ongoing projects into individual tasks, before splitting each task into sub-tasks. You can also update the progress for each task, add detailed descriptions and even track time for billing purposes. One of our favourite things about ActiveCollab is the ability to add multiple users to each project; this way we can assign individual tasks to the relevant team member as well as add clients to the task so that they have sight of any ongoing work.
Bannersnack can be a really useful tool for paid advertising campaigns. This all-in-one online advertising toolkit allows users to design, create and implement banner ads across a range of online channels. With a fairly similar interface to Canva, the process of building your banners should be fairly straightforward even for new designers. It also has functionality to create responsive banner ads and animations, as well as offering the ability to track key analytics such as total views and CTR.
Screaming Frog SEO Spider
Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider tool is a website crawler that allows you to crawl URLs and in turn analyse key aspects of a website from an SEO point-of-view. The in-depth crawl helps to pinpoint various elements that could be negatively impacting your site from an organic search perspective, including finding broken links (404 errors), auditing redirects (301 & 302 errors) and analysing page titles, to name a few.
The market leader for online graphic design has long been Canva, however in recent years several viable alternatives have been popping up. Design Wizard is arguably the most powerful out of these alternatives with over 10,000 free templates, 7,000 premium templates, 1.2 million images and an extensive range of fonts to choose from. The platform even offers the ability to create custom video content. In addition, it integrates with various other tools including Hubspot, Buffer and Marketo. It really is a great platform for anyone wanting to create some compelling visual content without the need for a desktop or mobile application.
Google Data Studio
Analytics has been playing an increasingly important role in marketing, with some marketing professionals suggesting that spend on marketing analytics could increase by 198% over the next three years. Google Data Studio allows you to easily build out branded reports that help visualise campaign results to clients and shareholders. Like most Google products, users can access Data Studio for free. It also offers a familiar, user-friendly interface that you can create some pretty advanced reports with. It allows you to pull data from various Google sources, as well as being able to install plugins that let you import data from third-party sources such as Facebook or Twitter.
Adobe Premiere Pro
With the popularity of video on the rise, more and more businesses are trying their hand at producing in-house video content. There are plenty of editing programs to choose from, but if you really want to create high-quality content, we’d recommend investing in the Adobe Creative Cloud suite; namely Adobe Premiere Pro. As the industry-standard editing program, the user interface can be fairly intimidating for new videographers. But spend a few hours on YouTube getting to grips with the ins-and-outs of the program and you’ll be creating incredible videos in no time.
Grammarly has been one of the most popular tools for content marketers for years now, offering an online grammar and spell-checking solution. It can prove very helpful if you often write blogs, website copy, social media posts, or other forms of content on a tight deadline. In summary, it checks your text for over 250 types of common grammatical mistakes, as you’re typing. It’s not just for content marketers either; if you often send emails to clients and prospects then this tool can be a lifesaver.
This cross-platform task management tool is great for both business and personal use. In its most basic form, Todoist is nothing more than an online to-do list. But its user-friendly interface and endless catalogue of templates really gives it an advantage over its competitors. The cross-platform element of this tool helps it stand out even more; you can access your to-do lists on Android, iOS, desktop and even via a neat Chrome extension.
With a similar function to ‘What’s My DNS?’, DNS Spy helps web developers monitor any DNS changes across their website domains. Whereas What’s My DNS? is more of a straightforward directory that allows you to test your DNS set up at various locations around the world, DNS Spy offers far more advanced features, including a custom rating for your DNS configurations to ensure they’ve been set up correctly. It will also send you an alert whenever a DNS record changes, as well as storing and backing up a history of each change.
Slack started off as an internal instant-messaging tool for a now-defunct online gaming company. First released back in 2013, the tool has certainly come a long way, offering over 1,000 integrations including Google Drive, GitHub and InVision. At Flaunt Digital, we mainly use this for internal communication purposes, but we’ve seen it being used for a plethora of different things.
With an ever-growing number of advertising channels to keep track of, each producing an ever-growing amount of data, the job of a paid advertiser is becoming increasingly difficult. Optmyzr helps to automate some of the more tedious elements of creating paid advertising campaigns, such as checking for broken URLs, pulling reports and managing budgets.
Flaunt SEO Tool
Last but not least, the Flaunt Digital SEO Tool. This free tool provides a top-level analysis of your website from an SEO perspective, in less than 30 seconds. It looks at several aspects of your website, such as the length of your title and meta descriptions, whether you have a Sitemap and Robots.txt file in place and your site’s pagespeed across desktop and mobile, before giving your website a score out of 100 for its SEO performance. Why not try it out for yourself?
These tools can make all the difference to your marketing campaigns. Whether you work in content marketing, paid advertising, development, or one of the many other marketing specialisms, there will certainly be a tool here for you.
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